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Stress testing a new hard drive...

Posted 11-20-2011 at 10:38 PM by sag47
Updated 11-20-2011 at 10:40 PM by sag47
Tags hardware

You should always stress test a new harddrive when you buy it.

Some people say, "Just hook it up for a few months and keep unimportant data on it. If it breaks in that 1-3 month time then it will be good for 3 or 4 years."

While that metric is okay at best I prefer to take a more systematic approach to it. I want to fill the whole hard drive with random 1 and 0 over a constant and long period of time. I do that because you are stressing the hard drive out with max writes for a long period of time (I usually do it for 7 days before I'll pass the hard drive). If the hard drive fails within those 7 days then it was going to break within a month or two likely.

I encountered just that situation over the past day. Here are the scripts I ran to stress it out (run as root).

hdd-stress.sh
Code:
#!/bin/bash

while true;do
  dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdk &> /root/log.txt
  sleep 2
done
hdd-stress2.sh
Code:
#!/bin/bash

while true;do
  dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sdk &> /root/log2.txt
  sleep 2
done
hdd-stress-killall.sh
Code:
#!/bin/bash
#kill the scripts
ps aux | grep 'bash.*hdd' | grep -v 'grep' | awk '{print $2}' | xargs kill -15
killall dd
To run them just sub it so that it doesn't kill when you log out.
Code:
su - -c '/root/hdd-stress.sh &'
After 3 straight days of letting it run with a nice value of 0 here is the result from the tail of dmesg.

Code:
... it continues for a long time up ...

[42931.558804] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdk] Unhandled error code
[42931.558807] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdk] Result: hostbyte=DID_BAD_TARGET driverbyte=DRIVER_OK
[42931.558812] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdk] CDB: Read(10): 28 00 e8 e0 88 a8 00 00 08 00
[42931.558821] end_request: I/O error, dev sdk, sector 3907029160
[42931.558825] Buffer I/O error on device sdk, logical block 488378645
[42931.565946] Buffer I/O error on device sdk, logical block 2
[42931.567031] Buffer I/O error on device sdk, logical block 3
[42931.568285] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdk] Unhandled error code
[42931.568289] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdk] Result: hostbyte=DID_BAD_TARGET driverbyte=DRIVER_OK
[42931.568295] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdk] CDB: Read(10): 28 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 20 00
[42931.568310] end_request: I/O error, dev sdk, sector 0
[42931.569451] Buffer I/O error on device sdk, logical block 0
[42931.570577] Buffer I/O error on device sdk, logical block 1
[42931.570615] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdk] Unhandled error code
[42931.570619] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdk] Result: hostbyte=DID_BAD_TARGET driverbyte=DRIVER_OK
[42931.570624] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdk] CDB: Read(10): 28 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 08 00
[42931.570634] end_request: I/O error, dev sdk, sector 0
[42931.570638] Buffer I/O error on device sdk, logical block 0
It's a good thing I did this before giving my brother his present. It would have been really annoying if he had to been the one to have to RMA it.

SAM
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